January is National Mentoring Month, time to celebrate and recognize volunteers and the positive effect they have on young lives in our community. At United Way of Greater Yankton, we believe that when youth are provided with quality relationships, it will have powerful positive effects. United Way Big Friend Little Friend would like to thank the incredible volunteers who support, engage and help local youth reach their full potential through mentorship, including one of their own.
United Way Board of Director President Elect, Lindsay Hovden, has been instrumental in the development of United Way’s mentoring program, following a recent merger with Big Friend Little Friend. Hovden also served as a Big Friend herself for several years, and currently mentors with the Boys and Girls Club STEM program.
United Way Executive Director, Lauren Hanson, who nominated Hovden for the award, states “Lindsay’s talents and passion to serve our community has always been an inspiration to me. Her assistance during the BFLF merger has helped us grow our organization and reach more youth who are needing positive roles models in their lives. We are so grateful at United Way to have her as part of our team, constantly striving to change lives and improve our great community.”
We asked Lindsay to share, in her own words, more about her volunteer efforts.
I have lived here in the Yankton Area since 2007
I began volunteering with United Way and the Big Friend Little Friend program in 2008
I continue volunteering because I feel that it is important to give back to our community. Yankton is a wonderful place to live because we have so many people who are generous with their time, resources, and talents, and I feel we should all do what we can to contribute to our community and making life better for those who need our help.
I volunteer approximately 120 hours per year and volunteer with United Way Board of Directors; 100 Women of Yankton Steering Committee, Yankton Library Foundation, Board of Directors, Stewart School PTA, Reflections Program Chair, Boys and Girls Club STEM mentor.
Volunteer work is enjoyable because it is satisfying to see how the things we do have a direct impact on the quality of life for people in our community. I also enjoying volunteering at the Boys and Girls Club and at my children’s school because it allows me to spend quality time with my children and demonstrate to them that it’s important to get involved and give back when you can.
It is hard to pick my best volunteer experience as I’ve had many. I greatly enjoyed mentoring with the Big Friend Little Friend program, and I would encourage anyone who enjoys working with children and wants to make a big impact in a young person’s lives to see if there may be a mentoring opportunity that would be a good fit for you!
The advice I would give to those thinking about getting out there and volunteering in their communities is that every minute spent volunteering makes an impact. Even if you don’t have a lot of time, find something that you can work into your schedule and make it happen!
For more information on local volunteer opportunities, or to nominate a Volunteer of the Month, visit www.yanktonunitedway.org/volunteer, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (605)665-6766.